HARTSVILLE — Trousdale County put on a furious fourth quarter rally in its Class 2A semifinal contest against visiting Meigs County Friday evening.
However, the Yellow Jackets’ frantic rally came up just a bit short as senior Cameron Rankins’ final pass hit the turf at Jim Satterfield Stadium and sent the Tigers to their second-straight BlueCross Bowl with a 16-13 win.
For the second consecutive year, Meigs County (14-0) will take on Peabody for the 2A title Saturday at 3 p.m. at Tennessee Tech’s Tucker Stadium.
The Golden Tide upended Waverly 42-7 in their semifinal matchup and is riding the state’s current longest winning streak at 36 games.
Trailing 16-0 after a two-yard touchdown run by Meigs County quarterback Logan Carroll early in the fourth quarter, Rankins and the Yellow Jackets took to the air to crawl back into the game.
Trousdale County (11-3) scored its first touchdown with 7:01 left in the game when Rankins capped off the Yellow Jackets drive with a one-yard touchdown run.
Rankins hit junior Keenan Burnley for a 35-yard pickup down to the Meigs County one-yard line.
A three-and-out by the defense set up Rankins and company again as Trousdale County quickly maneuvered down field for a nine-yard touchdown run by Jordan Pickett pulled the Yellow Jackets to within three at 16-13.
Despite falling behind early, second-year Trousdale County coach Blake Satterfield knew that his team would be able to get back into the game.
“At the end of the day, and I hate to say it, but we didn’t lose as much as we ran out of time,” Satterfield said. “We switched up our offense, and we needed to make some big plays and move it down the field and we did that we just didn’t have enough time at the end.”
Trousdale County fell behind 16-0 thanks in large part to the dominate Meigs County ground game, highlighted by senior Will Meadows’ 209 yards on 19 carries, including a 58-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
This was the third consecutive year Trousdale County and Meigs County squared off in the semifinals, with Trousdale County claiming a 32-29 win in 2018 while the Tigers won the 2019 matchup 22-20.
The three Trousdale County losses this season came by a combined eight points.
“The seniors making three straight semifinal appearances and overcoming advertising at the start of this season by starting off 1-2 and everybody counting us out says a lot about the group,” Satterfield said. “That’s what these kids have done their whole career — going from pee wee football to middle school to high school is that these kids know to fight and that’s what these Trousdale County teams have done over the years.”